How to Overcome ADU Barriers

APA and AARP partner to create a guide to expand local supply and legal occupancy of ADUs

APA has partnered with the AARP Public Policy Institute to create Expanding ADU Development and Occupancy, a new guide aimed at helping community leaders, planners, and housing practitioners and advocates take concrete steps to overcome barriers to expanding local supply and legal occupancy of accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

ADUs Are a Valuable Tool to Help Communities

Unlocking ADU's potential for communities broadens choice in single-family neighborhoods. From San Diego, California, to Boise, Idaho, to Walla Walla, Washington, communities large and small are updating zoning codes to make ADUs legally permissible and seeing success in expanding housing options for residents. However, many still struggle with common barriers to increasing ADU construction and occupancy, such as lack of political will, community opposition, exclusionary local regulations, and insufficient or inaccessible project financing.

The Expanding ADU Development and Occupancy guide is designed to provide basic background on the ADU concept and dives deeper into the process of identifying — and overcoming — specific local challenges that limit ADU supply and legality.

Hear from Rodney Harrell, Ph.D., vice president of Family, Home, and Community at AARP's Public Policy Institute, about the importance of bringing expanded housing options to the people who need them most.

Expanding ADU Development and Occupancy

Solutions for Removing local barriers to ADU Construction

Local communities have many opportunities to pursue reforms that can expand ADU construction and occupancy. This guide serves as a resource to identify and overcome some of the common barriers to expanding ADUs.

Housing Resources

For more on housing, zoning reform, and ADUs, check out these additional resources from APA below:

Search policy guidance, local plan recommendations, and zoning standards for ADUs from across the country in APA's ADU Research KnowledgeBase Collection.

APA's Equity in Zoning Policy Guide was designed to help local and regional planners and decision-makers dismantle barriers and create more diverse housing options in places where they are needed most.

APA President Angela D. Brooks, FAICP, shares how planners can push for ADUs, TOD, and pro-housing policy at every level of government.

Top image: Accessory Dwelling Unit types from Wikimedia Commons.

About the author
Brenna Donegan is APA's senior communications associate.

May 30, 2023

By Brenna Donegan